Gron Digital are designing a regulated gambling and betting platform that is secure, transparent, auditable and fair all on the Blockchain. Through their token GRO you can be a part of this network which is sure to revolutionize the gambling and betting industry. Read on for our interview with the COO and one of the founders – Dmitry Oberzhitsky.
When did you first get into Bitcoin and why?
Firstly, we need to clear the air by differentiating Bitcoin and the Blockchain, as many people believe it is the same thing. The Blockchain itself, for all its merits, is not a new phenomenon, it is rather a genius combination of old and tested technologies such as Cryptography, Distributed Database and the smart mechanism of incentivising users of the network. Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency that was implemented on the Blockchain. Bitcoin came onto our radar at the end of 2013, when a lot of negative publicity arose around the use of this cryptocurrency, i.e. the infamous “silk road” case in the USA. Fortunately, this technological brilliance was not tarnished by bad elements on the net, and has shown huge potential to take us into the new era.
Where did the inspiration for your ICO come from?
Bitcoin, in its essence, has only one purpose, i.e. movements of value from A to B without a central body to control it. With the fairly recent introduction of Smart Contracts by Ethereum Foundation, executed on the Blockchain without human intervention, we immediately recognised the need of such technology in the Gambling and Betting sector. Many people are claiming that the Blockchain will change our lives, but the reality is that it won’t – most businesses will run as usual. However, there are areas where this technology can be disruptive and the gambling industry provides a good opportunity to prove it. GRO, developed by Gron Digital, is the utility token and is coupled with the smart contract. The value can only be transferred from a payer to a payee if all conditions of the contract have been met. This therefore prevents any potential disputes or payment delays. It’s a win-win situation for all contracting parties.
How will your business make money in the future?
Gron Digital is not a gambling or betting provider. It is an open platform, built with the help of Smart Contracts executed on the Blockchain. We are building a trusted environment for the gambling and betting industry, while simultaneously creating demand for our GRO token; GRO can be compared to a casino chip issued by a casino to run its establishment. Imagine a casino, where the said chips can be used to;
• buy services from various service providers and manufacturers within the industry,
• pay salaries and other overheads,
• wager and pay out the winnings to patrons, and
• purchase drinks and meals in the casino food and beverages section, etc.
In the brick and mortar world, real casino chips can be re-issued and have the same face value. To satisfy demand, a casino can simply issue more and more. If we compare this with GRO, they can’t be re-issued (constant number) but can be divided into fractions (since it is in electronic form), GRO value will be pushed by growing demand and a shortage of supply. There are only a limited number of chips issued and they cannot be reissued, even if they have been destroyed or lost, therefore, the supply remains constant, driving the increase in demand to use these chips. The shortage created on the casino floor, and behind the cashiers’ desks also pushes the price of the chip up. So, simply put, our GRO is exactly this chip.
The fundamental difference is that GRO is a cryptographic token, designed to be used as a casino chip, and can be divided into millions of smaller pieces unlike the real chips. While the real value of the bet placed on the table can remain the same, the number of GRO used for this bet can be smaller, thus improving the actual value of this digital asset. Gambling and betting industry stakeholders will pay the fraction of the GRO for utilising the platform.
How big is your team at the moment?
At the moment, we are a team of 23 people with access to the pool of 200+ developers.
What was the greatest challenge you have faced so far?
To differentiate ourselves from the myriad of ICO’s out there, many of which are created for the wrong reason/s, and the business case/model/s are too difficult to understand.
Where do you see your business in 5 years time?
We would like to see ourselves as a key player in the industry. Sure, there will be companies entering the same space, and healthy competition will keep us on our toes ensuring we deliver the best product consumers deserve to have.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently? Why?
Start thinking of the ICO 12 months earlier…
What are the biggest factors that will bring success?
Firstly, I believe in the idea of Gron Digital, and the problem that we are addressing/solving, and I believe in our team. Many companies don’t realise that the people behind any project are their most powerful assets. Having a clear vision, motivating the team and steering the process in the right direction are the key components to success.
What’s your advice to other ICOs or Bitcoin businesses who are just starting out?
1. Don’t rush it by trying to jump onto the bandwagon. The idea of ICOs as a mechanism to raise funds for startups is brilliant, and it will mature with time. Hopefully there will be regulation soon to safe-guard the contributors. Yes, there are many ICOs popping up every day, but the army of contributors is getting bigger every day too, as more and more people become comfortable with the idea of crowdfunding and crypto assets. The pie is getting bigger, therefore what seems to be a smaller slice might represent a bigger absolute number.
2. Believe in your own idea and have a clear business case.
3. Build the team and share your vision, and develop a team that is capable to execute the project.
4. Before going public, bring in a private investor to provide the most needed budget for your ICO, and secure at least USD200k before doing so. This is the bare minimum one must be prepared to lose if the crowdfunding is not successful.
5. Negotiate with your advisors and your team to remunerate mostly with the tokens you are about to issue. And pay the absolute minimum in fiat currency, so they can meet their own financial commitments. If they refuse to accept this arrangement, they may not believe in the idea enough and you might be better off parting with them then.